June 30, 2013

Happiness at a cellular level

Yesterday was a beautiful day here in NYC. Breezy, not too humid, and the temperature was in the lower 80's. A perfect summer day. My never ending to do list stared accusingly at me, as if to say "hey, where to you think you're going? There's tons of things to be done!" Not today! There was no way I was going to stay indoors working when the weather was so wonderful outside. No matter how much work I had to do!

I have been feeling very disconnected from nature, from the earth itself. I've encapsulated myself in this cage of concrete and steel that I live and work in, completely disregarding the needs of my body. It isn't just my soul that craves the contact with earth, my body does so as well. To quote my mentor Laura Emily:

"Earth: More and more science is beginning to validate that without physical connection between our skin and earth (as well as sunlight), we suffer. Illness, anxiety, depression, lack of focus, struggles with sleeping, and a general feeling of emptiness is amplified when we do not connect physically with the earth. The body requires negative ions to ‘chill out’ so to speak- these negative ions are plentiful at the coast line, on the tips of evergreens in forests, and waterfalls. We don’t associate these areas with a sense of peace for nothing!
Peace happens at a cellular level- are we enabling this? Or have we detached ourselves into a plastic shelter from morning to night, completely forgetting the flesh and bones we are made of."
How many of us suffer from one or some or all of the symptoms above? To counteract it, we usually resort to pills. Are you depressed, struggle with anxiety? No problem, here, have a Prozac, everything will be just fine if you take one happy pill everyday. Can't sleep? Take an Ambien, you'll sleep like a baby. Not focusing? Here we go, Ritalin will solve all your problems. The list goes on. While I'm not proposing that people should stop whatever treatments they are under, I am saying that perhaps we should try and commit to spending some time in nature, in direct contact with the earth on a daily basis. That's what holistic living is all about. Mind, body, and soul.

Yesterday proved to me how much I needed to feel the cool, moist earth under my feet, to just lay quietly under a tree and listen to the sounds of birds, the wind, water, insects. How desperately my body as well as my soul was asking for that. I have been so unfocused lately, so stressed out, so very on the edge, that I have not been able to succeed in meditating properly, let alone having a completely fulfilling shamanic journey for quite awhile. Try as I might, I couldn't quiet the incessant chatter inside my mind, and was always left with a deep frustration at not being able to relax that would dictate the rest of my day.
 At Central Park, after a couple of hours of just laying under a tree and feeling the earth beneath my body and in direct contact with my skin, I started to feel not only a profound sense of peace, but also radiant happiness. I felt vibrant, energized. I felt alive!  I was just plain giggly!

Right there, surrounded by the sounds of children playing all around me and a baseball game happening just a few feet from where I was, I felt connected to the spirit of the tree I was laying under, and the tree whispered softly into my heart "this is the perfect time to meet Eagle". All month I've been trying to meet her, but to no avail. I had my iPod with me, I start playing my favorite shamanic drumming track and off I went, to the Lower World, to meet with Eagle and get the message I know she had been trying to give me for weeks. But I was unable to connect with her, despite the quiet of my "steel cage", all the preparations, all the smudging, all my crystals, and oils, and incense. The perfect "this" and the precise "that". No, that is not what I needed. The missing component was the most important of all; Mother Nature. Amidst the noisy kids and ball players, I was able to reach the Lower World in just a few seconds! This was quite possibly the most powerful journey I've ever had in all my years of journeying. The message was loud and clear. Both from my spirit guides during the journey and from my body, showing me that what I really really needed was to connect with Earth. Be one with Nature. Allow Gaia to embrace me completely.
I felt renewed, inspired, rejuvenated, with a happiness and sheer joy that I haven't felt in a very long time, and the absolute certainty that I am on the right track. My mission in life became crystal clear. I was completely imbued with a sense of purpose. I was at peace, spiritually, psychologically and at a cellular level. I'm sure that being properly hydrated contributed immensely to this experience :) I am on day 4 of the water challenge after all.

As I was leaving the park, I came across this little fella. He was hiding at first, but then he walked right up to me, stared me straight in the eye for a few seconds, turned around and walked away. Duck medicine. Yes, I got the message, believe me, I did!
For those of you lucky enough to live close to nature, don't take it for granted, that is more precious than you realize. And for the rest of us, city dwellers, whose only opportunity to feel close to the Earth are in city parks, well, let's make a real effort to make that connection a part of our daily lifes! After how I felt yesterday, I don't want to miss a single opportunity to do it again. Go outside and play!

Love and bright blessings,